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Interesting crackling sound from hive

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SJH 

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The bees are nice and active foraging frequently in warm weather over the last few days, yesterday they were busily fanning the hive in the afternoon.

There was an interesting rustling or crackling noise coming from the porch area of the hive, does anyone know the source of the sound? It’s not piping. It sounds like their wing tips hitting another surface.

I opened the roof and listened; there was no sound inside, from the brood area. It was coming from the porch area, just inside and out. From a distance of 5m it sounded like small twigs crackling on a fire. Up close (30cm) it was almost like numerous playing cards hitting the spokes on a bicycle wheel (spokies) or static electricity crackling.

Edit

I have uploaded a short clip .avi to YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-0XTccnr20
 
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Geoff 

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Well I am glad someone else has heard this. I thought I was going nuts.
 

Simon 

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I've heard that once or twice in my mini-nuc hive when I have inadvertantly reduced their entrance too small - once to nothing! The hive was knocked over and when I put it back together I made a mistake and blocked up the entrance. I checked them half an hour later (once they had calmed down) and realised my mistake, but they were making that sound then.
 

ribblesbees 

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This sounds like the sound that was being made by our nuke when we collected it. It only started in the latter half of the journey and ceased once they had been released. I'd certainly be interested in what forum members think this is/the cause of it.

My thoughts were that it was possibly due to heat (it was a warm day when they were collected).


bee-smillie
 

SJH 

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I have added a short .avi clip to YouTube. It is the clicking, crackling sound that is of interest. Link in original post.
 
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ribblesbees 

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Take away the buzzing and thats just about the sound they were making.


bee-smillie
 

jon 

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They look like they may be ventilating the hive.
Was it hot at the time?
You also see bees fanning out pheromone from their nasonov gland when new bees are orientating to help them find their way back to the hive.
 

SJH 

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Hi, yes it was a warm day yesterday, up to 28.5°C on the weather station in the garden. Often they fan the hive, doing the same thing perched on the front, abdomens raised, fanning away.

Yesterday was significantly different, in that the sound of crackling or clicking was so loud I though the hive was on fire and ran the last part of the garden! Obviously it wasn't so I spent some time looking and listening. It continued until sunset. A search of the internet reported similar sounds, but I couldn't find a description in the books I have. I wondered if it was wing tips hitting a surface, but I couldn't be sure as those on the porch looked like the wings were orientated not to touch anything, so I wondered if bees the other side of the mouse guard were slapping the wood with their wing tips. However this would damage their wings. So my thoughts go to perhaps leg parts clicking or muscular contractions like crickets, grasshoppers, et al. Perhaps a call to others to come and cool the hive down?
 

admin 

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Does anyone have a copy of "At the hive entrance" there could be something printed about the noise in it.
 

PaleoPerson 

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That sound is identical to the sound made by a hoard of wasps chewing the top of my fence panels to collect wood pulp. Maybe the bees are trying to enlarge the openings?

My cure for wood chewing wasps is 1 Zippo lighter + 1 tin of deodorant = Flame thrower :reddevil:. I know there are many things much more effective to stop them, but I find this method strangely therapeutic.
 

chalkie 

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I've heard a very similar sound when i've joined two hives together useing the paper method, just thought it was them chewing there way though.
 

jbr 

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My cure for wood chewing wasps is 1 Zippo lighter + 1 tin of deodorant = Flame thrower :reddevil:. I know there are many things much more effective to stop them, but I find this method strangely therapeutic.
I need to get rid of some troublesome wasps later, I think I'll try your idea out on the hive!
 
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I get a crackling sound from the supers, particularly if you give them supers wet after extraction. I have always assumed it was the sound of them working the wax, for example chewing off cappings or in the case of wet supers chewing away damaged wax.
 

DulwichGnome 

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That sound is identical to the sound made by a hoard of wasps chewing the top of my fence panels to collect wood pulp. Maybe the bees are trying to enlarge the openings?
This had me worried as the same sound was coming from both of my new poly hives:ack2:. Took one apart today and they had not destroyed the box so not sure what they were doing.

Mike.
 

steve1958 

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Maybe the bees are trying to enlarge the openings?
This was my first thought.
The Bees in the video were having a hard time getting in/out of the entrance.
Joining two hives together using the paper method also causes a barrier they have to 'Break through'.

It does sound a stressful sound though, as if they are not happy

 

Finman 

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Our forum discussed about 'mur mur' hive.
The soud comes when a bee is in tigt space and wings hit onto wall.
 

Mosquito 

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It is chewing.
If you put your wax capping in a bowel. you will hear the same sound.
I think they make the same noise when making propulous.
 

victor meldrew 

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Hi, yes it was a warm day yesterday, up to 28.5°C on the weather station in the garden. Often they fan the hive, doing the same thing perched on the front, abdomens raised, fanning away.

Yesterday was significantly different, in that the sound of crackling or clicking was so loud I though the hive was on fire and ran the last part of the garden! Obviously it wasn't so I spent some time looking and listening. It continued until sunset. A search of the internet reported similar sounds, but I couldn't find a description in the books I have. I wondered if it was wing tips hitting a surface, but I couldn't be sure as those on the porch looked like the wings were orientated not to touch anything, so I wondered if bees the other side of the mouse guard were slapping the wood with their wing tips. However this would damage their wings. So my thoughts go to perhaps leg parts clicking or muscular contractions like crickets, grasshoppers, et al. Perhaps a call to others to come and cool the hive down?
A point to make, open mesh floor should have kept hive cool enough ??

John Wilkinson
 

RayN 

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I too was told it is the sound of the bees manipulating\drawing wax.
 

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